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High Definition Cameras & High Definition Camcorders Discuss the latest High Definition Cameras and HD Camcorders including the new HDV Camcorder. Ask questions, post reviews, etc.

plz help me pick a HD camcorder under these rules

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Old 03-20-2014, 10:51 AM   #1  
My funeral will be in HD.
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: north georgia USA
Age: 44
Posts: 118
Default plz help me pick a HD camcorder under these rules

ok guys i need your expert advice here if you dont mind to chime in.

im starting to make money on my youtube vids now and will soon be doing standup comedy to ad to my vids. right now im using a standard def 4yr old sony to record vids with. you may see my examples of quality on my last few vids that i uploaded. here is an example...

i am going to purchase an hd cam for a better look so people will take my channel more serious for views/subscriptions, but need to do so on a strict budget and a few rules.

1.i am looking to stay under $400. a better cam will be bought if my vids/revenue pick up.

2. i need to be able to record in 1080X1920P HD.

3. i dont want to spend extra for fancy features on the cam because ill do all of the edits on my computer.

4. i need a cam that outputs mpeg4 at least.

5. i need to be able to get the footage from the cam to the computer in an easy fashion.

6. night vision i suppose is a must just in case i need it for a future vid.

thanks. please respond asap as i want to start recording a few ideas in the next few days.


heres what im looking at so far.

Last edited by flair1111; 03-20-2014 at 11:22 AM..
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:26 PM   #2  
I'll never go back to SD

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Posts: 840

I'm sorry no one has responded yet. I'm sure it's not that no one wants to help, it's just that it's a simple question but as always there's no one simple answer. Because there is no best, only what's best for you.

Any HD cam will do the job these days. The ones you've highlighted will be okay. It all depends upon how well and easily they will work for you.

You're asking about a cam for professional purposes but only want to spend at the bottom end of the consumer price range, so you won't get much for what you want to spend. If you are doing stand-up in professional venues you will have more than enough light, so low-light ability and, God-forbid, night shot, are completely irrelevant for you.

Your issue will be manual controls so you can override auto exposure, which will see the bright light in the middle of the picture (you) and the dark everywhere else and try to smooth it out to a nice dull 28% grey (that's what auto exp is programmed to do) and ruin your shot by blowing you out to a bright white so high you will be invisible. Or if the Auto WB is on (and if you don't know what WB is, you should) and for effect you have, say, a red light on you, it'll turn that nice and white for you and ruin that too.

You might just as well use a cell phone.

So you may find you need more cam than you are currently looking at. And the problem is, the pages you've linked to don't really show the important specs for comparison.

Best bet is to go to B&H and look there.

Here are some general rules, and as always all rules have exceptions:
  • Within each maker, generally the fewer digits in the name, the more pro the line is, i.e. the A1 is more pro than the A10, which is more pro than the A100.
  • Within each line, the higher the number the more advanced, i.e. the A200 is probably more advanced than the A100, but check specs to be sure.
  • For picture quality, all that really matters is chip size, but because of the strange way they measure chips, remember that 1/2.3" is bigger than 1/3.2", because the first is roughly a half-inch and the second is roughly one-third.
Moreover, equally important -- some say even more so -- is audio. If you are not taking your sound from the club's board, you must get a wireless lav, wear it, and get a cam that can accept its input. Bad audio marks you as an unprofessional rookie faster than anything else. It's not bad picture that makes people move on to the next comic when deciding who to hire, and frankly there are a million funny guys out there. In the vid you linked to, your post audio is fine but your location/field audio needs work, and I'm guessing you relied on the on-cam mic. Never do this.

I happen to be a Sony guy so I know their equipment better than other brands. So if it were me doing this, I would recommend you look for a used FX1000 or AX2000 and a wireless lav kit (mic, transmitter and receiver) and if you hate tapes, the MRC card recorder to go with the FX (with the AX it isn't necessary but it's more expensive). They have a new 4k consumer model coming out this week called the AX100 but it's two grand. Probably overkill for you given that not many folks have 4k TVs, much less monitors that can display it. If I were buying a consumer style handycam, I'd look for something in the CX700 line, most likely used. I go to the B&H used section almost daily and they often have some good deals.

Anyway, my 2, FWIW, IMHO, YMMV, and all that interwebs blogiverse lingo.

Last edited by acgold7; 03-21-2014 at 09:45 PM..
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:41 PM   #3  
My funeral will be in HD.
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: north georgia USA
Age: 44
Posts: 118

thanks for the reply. youre right my cam on the vid, i relied on the mic. for the overdubs i used my guitar/music mixing board with a SM58 mic. so that def sounded better than the cam

so i picked up the hf R50 from canon for $400. the pic will be perfect for what im going to do and ill have 128G card in it so i can record using the best settings. i am going to buy a wireless mic as well. canon has one that the receiver will plug into the cam and ill be carrying the mic on me. its got a decent range. again good for what im wanting to do. i think i can get better looking and sounding vids now for sure.

sub me on utube and keep an eye out. any feedback will be welcomed.

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